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The difference in dụties upon merchandise imported in national and foreign vessels average about 25 per cent. in favor of the national bottoms.
Table showing the general average market price of the chief articles imported
and exported at the port of Bilbao.
$11 per quarter.
Port dues and regulations.
ngentes or no
Port Mahon–H. B. ROBINSON, Consul.
October 31, 1863. * # As a commercial point this place has no attractions. Business of all kinds is carried on in a very limited way. * . We are in constant communication with the continent by telegraph and steam. News from New York reaches in twelve days. * *
I understand consuls are taxed here as citizens,when they pursue any profession or vocation, or when they own any property that is subject to taxation.
I have never been subject to any tax here, but would be if I owned taxable property.
HAVANA_THOMAS Savage, Vice- Consul General. Comparative statement showing the description and quantity of imports into the
port of Havana during the years ended December 31, 1861, 1862, and 1863.
Comparative statement showing the number, tonnage, and nationality of the
vessels which entered the port of Havana during the years ended December 31, 1861, 1862, and 1863.
MATANZAS—Henry C. Hall, Vice-Consul.
September 25, 1863. I have tbe honor to forward herewith the annual report of this consulate, in accordance with the requirements of sections 147 to 154 of consular instructions.
No document of this description has been furnished from this office since 1860.
I have therefore endeavored to condense, in the present report, as much information as can be obtained relating to that year, 1861, '62 and '63, up to the 1st of the present month, which will be found in the several accompanying enclosures (marked A to L.) .
This consular district comprises, with this port, those of Cardenas and Sagua la Grande, the former distant thirty-five miles, and the latter one hundred and twenty-six miles in coast lines.
There is daily communication by rail to Cardenas, and tri-monthly communication from this port, and semi-weekly from Cardenas, to Sagua by steamboats.
There are four daily railroad lines terminatiug in this place, via the Matanzas and Sabanilla, extending to Isabel, a distance of forty-five miles in a southeast direction. This road is being extended to a point on the Cienfuegos and Villaclara road, and when finished will give direct communication with Sagua as well as with Cienfuegos, an important port on the south side of the island, and can hardly fail to bring hither a large amount of produce.
The Matanzas and Colino road runs hence, in an easterly and southerly direction, a distance of thirty-six miles to Bauba, where it connects with the Cardenas road. .
The Matanzas and Guines road connects with the old Havana line at Guines, giving direct communication with Havana twice a day in a three hours run by passenger trains.
The bay of Havana and Matanzas road runs hence in a westwardly direction
to Regla, a distance of fifty-seven miles on the opposite side of the bay of Havana, going three times per day to the capital, more than are required by the travelling community.
All three roads have been constructed under the direction of American engineers, and the rolling stock is from the United States, the locomotives being from the well-known establishments at Paterson, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.
During the last two years our shipping interests in this port have suffered greatly, having been almost wholly excluded from the indirect carrying trade, a large portion of which they enjoyed in former years. The causes are two obvious to require much explanation. The appearance in these waters at different times of armed vessels under the flag of the so-called Confederate States, and the high rates of insurance demanded on our vessels to cover the war risk, have placed them in a position of not being able to compete with British and other flags.
Enclosed (A) is an extract from the general census of the island for the year 1861, showing the population of the districts comprising this consulate, and other information in regard to products, navigation, &c.
Enclosed (B) is a return of the imports of principal articles at this port during the year 1860, '61, and ’62, derived from custom-house estimates.
Enclosed (C) gives the average prices of leading articles of import and ex. port, rates of freight and exchange during the year 1860 to 1862 and part of the present year.
Enclosed (D and E) are comparative statements of the number and tonnage of American and British vessels in this port during the period last named.
Enclosed (F, G, and H) are comparative statements of the amount of exports from the three ports during the same years.
Enclosed (I, K, L) show the arrivals of vessels of all nations at the ports of Matanzas, Cardenas and Sagua la Grande during the years 1860, '61, '62, and up.to the 1st September of the present year, which will be found of some interest, as they show that, notwithstanding the disadvantages under which our vessels are placed in these ports, they still outnumber and exceed in tonnage those of any other nation.
With regard to imports, no satisfactory statement can be obtained. The en. closed (B) is compiled from several custom-house reports, and is as nearly correct as could be procured. The last “ Balanza" of the trade of the island was published in 1859, since when nothing has appeared in an official form that can be relied upon. The amount of imports has not increased to any extent during these years. Previous to the rebellion the southern ports of the United States furnished larger quantities of pitch pine lumber, naval stores and rice; and from New Orleans the larger portion of lard, bacon, and corn was received, which is now supplied in the greatest abundance from New York and Philadelphia, while the lumber of Maine has to some extent taken the place of that which was formerly received from the southern States. Rice is now im. ported in large quantities from Spain and other countries; giving the market a full supply, and at prices during the present year below those of 1860, as will be seen by reference to enclosed C.
The rates of exchange on the United States are now governed by the price of gold in New York, gold being the principal circulating medium, and the basis of all commercial transactions here. Thus exchange has fluctuated from par, or thereabouts, on the 31st of March, 1862, to 25 per cent discount on the 1st of January of the present year, 48 per cent. discount on the 14th of March, and again, 25 per cent. discount to-day.
Several cargoes of African slaves have been landed in this district during the past year, but the vigorous and energetic measures that are being adopted by the chief authority of the island, it is believed, will effectually put a stop to the traffic.
I am pleased to inform the department that after diligent inquiry I have not been able to ascertain that any Americans or American vessels have been engaged in any of the expeditions landed in this district during the past year, nor do I believe that any of the vessels are fitted out in the United States. Statement showing the principal imports into the port of Matanzas during
the years 1860, 1861, and 1862.
Average price of leading articles of import at Matanzas during the years
1860 to 1863.
Average prices of leading articles of export, rates of freights and exchange at
Matanzas during the years 1860 to 1863.